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Challenging gender stereotypes through sport in Egypt

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Cairo SheWolves is one of the first all-women American football teams in Egypt. Photo: Courtesy of the Cairo Wolves. Gender norms and stereotypes prevail throughout Egypt, even in its bustling capital Cairo. It’s here that a novel project, an all-women American football team— is challenging gender norms in sport. Speaking to UN Women about the Cairo SheWolves, Ziad Gaafar Mohammed, coach of the women’s American football team in Cairo’s Dokki and Mohandeseen... More

In the words of Nur Omar: “I’ve healed the wounds of war and feel more confident about my future”

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Originally published on UN Women Europe and Central Asia’s website.   The SADA Women Empowerment and Solidarity Centre provides livelihood skills and psycho-social support and referral services to refugees like Nur Omar *  and local women in Gaziantep, Turkey. Set-up by UN Women, the Centre helps women like Nur Omar learn new skills and start a brighter future. It is run in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Association for Solidarity with... More

From where I stand: “Yanouh cooperative increased my income and freedom of movement”

Thursday, January 10, 2019

After some resistance from her husband, Ibtissam Jaber joined Yanouh cooperative in rural South Lebanon. Jaber, a mother of seven, loves producing traditional agro-foods and believes in the importance of contributing to her household’s income. By selling her products at food exhibitions across the country, she has now transitioned from being a small-scale producer to a profitable entrepreneur. More

North Africa Dialogue on Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Participants of the North Africa Dialogue on Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. Photo: UN Women/Emad Karim Currently, more than 200 million girls and women worldwide have experienced Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) and more than 650 million women were married as children. These harmful practices are rooted in unequal gender norms and practices and are grave violations of fundamental human rights. In the MENA region, one in five girls is married before the... More

Engaging girls and boys to achieve gender equality in Northern Morocco

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Training on gender equality conducted by the Association Mhashass Pour le Développement Humain at a high school in Larache province, Morocco. Photo: Courtesy of Association Mhashass. In northern Morocco, certain areas of Larache province experience severe social problems such as poverty, drug use, and widespread and entrenched gender discrimination. The situation in these neighborhoods might be bleak were it not for the efforts of local organizations like Association Mhashass Pour... More

Youth mark ‘International Migrants Day’ in Cairo

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Audience members watched the short film “Deal” as part of the IOM Global Migration Film Festival. Photo: UN Women/Emad Karim In the lead up to the 2018 International Migrants Day, UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Egypt organized the screening of the short film “Deal” as part of IOM’s Global Migration Film Festival in Cairo. Marked each year on 18 December, International... More

Reclaiming gender equality in Islam

Monday, December 17, 2018

Sarah Marsso, Knowledge Building Coordinator at Musawah. Photo: UN Women/Emad Karim A number of restrictive laws in the Arab States region exacerbate challenges to the promotion and protection of women’s fundamental human rights. In response to this situation, Musawah , a women’s organization working to support equality and justice in Muslim families, is pushing back against the ways in which religion is sometimes misused to justify discrimination against women. The group is... More

Press Release: 16 Days of Activism

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Yemen Women Union (YWU) organized an Open Day to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence Campaign under the slogan "Inspiring Women for a Better Life and a Happier Family"  #HearMeToo , in cooperation with UN Women Yemen. Speaking at the event, Ms. Fathia Mohammed Abdullah Obaid, Chairwoman of the YWU, noted that in Yemen, the 16 Days Campaign was unfolding in a situation where war is profoundly affecting women’s development efforts and degrading women's... More

Press Release: New Study on Gender Justice & the Law in the Arab States Region

Monday, December 10, 2018

Beirut, 10 December 2018 – Many Arab countries have introduced positive legislative reforms that promote gender equality and protect women from violence. Yet guaranteeing equality before the law remains a persistent challenge across the region. This was the consensus of over 150 gender experts, activists; legislators, jurists and government officials, who convened today in the Lebanese capital for the Regional Dialogue on Gender Justice & the Law in the Arab States Region. The... More

Dialogue on Gender Justice & the Law in the Arab States Region

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Beirut - Guaranteeing equality before the law, full access to justice, and protection from violence for all women and girls are key to achieving gender equality in the Arab States region. Without such guarantees, no country will be able to realize the grand promise of prosperity, peace and sustainability enshrined in the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development . Based on this premise, the recently completed study on Gender Justice & the Law provides a comprehensive assessment of laws and... More

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign kicks off with regional event convened by the League of Arab States and the UN

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Group picture at the regional launch of the 16 Days of Activism held at the League of Arab States on 25 November 2018. On 25 November, the League of Arab States (LAS) and the United Nations Regional Gender Theme Group (R-GTG) launched the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, renewing a shared commitment and strong partnership to support survivors of violence in the Arab States region. From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against... More

Gender and Displacement: What’s it like to be a Syrian female refugee in Lebanon

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Like their male counterparts, female refugees in Lebanon are struggling to meet even their most basic needs. But their challenges are aggravated by entrenched gender inequalities and norms. A new report by UN Women Unpacking gendered realities in displacement: the status of Syrian refugee women in Lebanon examines how gender-based discrimination constrains Syrian female refugees’ options, access, and opportunities and increase their vulnerability to food insecurity, poverty, violence... More

Press Release: UN reports review the impact of displacement on Syrian women in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The voices of Syrian refugee women too often go unheard, contributing to continued gender discrimination and violence. In the spirit of the UN global campaign #HearMeToo, to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States sets out to amplify their voices, to hear from them directly on life in displacement. Over the past year, UN Women interviewed more than 1000 Syrian female refugees across Jordan , Lebanon and the Kurdistan Region of... More

Gender and displacement: What’s it like to be a female Syrian refugee in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Syrian female refugees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq face increased discrimination, inequality and risks of violence and exploitation exacerbated by shifting gender roles and responsibilities in displacement. Through interviews with over 500 hundred Syrian female refugees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, UN Women’s new report Unpacking gendered realities in displacement: the status of Syrian refugee women in Iraq examines how displacement has affected Syrian female refugees in... More

Gender and displacement: What’s it like to be a Syrian female refugee in Jordan?

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Actual and preconceived threats against Syrian female refugees in Jordan are further constraining their movement and increasing their isolation and access to aid. UN Women’s new report Unpacking gendered realities in displacement: the status of Syrian refugee women in Jordan examines how gender-based discrimination interplays with displacement, poverty and instability, increasing refugee Syrian women’s risks to violence and physical isolation in Jordan. The study also seeks to... More

In the words of Fathia Mohammed Abdullah Obaid: “Women’s lives can change for the better with education”

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Fathia Mohammed Abdullah Obaid, Chairwoman of the Yemeni Women's Union. Photo: UN Women/Areej Alkhawlani Fathia Mohammed Abdullah Obaid has been the Chairwoman of the Yemeni Women's Union (YWU) since 2013. She holds a BA from Aden University in History and a diploma in Political and Social Sciences from Karl Mozim Academy, East Berlin, Germany. Originally from Aden Governorate, Ms. Abdullah is a member of the Yemeni Women’s Pact for Peace and Security (Tawafuq), a network... More

From Where I Stand: “My hope is to see FGM eliminated in my lifetime.”

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Jaha Dukureh, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, at the North Africa Sub-Regional Dialogue on Child Marriage and FGM/C held in Cairo, Egypt. Photo: UN Women/Emad Karim What motivated me to become an activist to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage is that I myself went through FGM when I was one week old and I was forced to get married at the age of 15. To me, it was important that women like myself led the campaign against FGM, so that we represent our own communities and... More

“Finally, I have a chance to regain my dignity… and make decisions for myself.”

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Joud at the Jordanian Women’s Union shelter in Amman, Jordan. Photo: UN Women/Lauren Rooney From a young age, Joud Ahmad*, 21, suffered from mental and physical abuse from her father and brother. When she escaped home, she had nowhere to stay and was later put in administrative detention in the Juwaida Jail in the outskirts of Amman. Her case was then referred to the Jordanian Women’s Union (JWU), which transferred her to one of their shelters. The space is supported by UN... More

From Where I stand: “A woman who knows her rights and makes decisions for herself is a woman who can conquer the world.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Houaida Hatan’s commitment to advocate for women’s empowerment and their rights in Jordan was formed at a young age. Utilizing her years of experience as a psychotherapist, she has been providing psychological support services for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), at the Jordanian Women’s Union (JWU) hotline. With the generous support of the European Union Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis and the Government of France, UN Women and JWU... More

Take Five: “In order to end violence against women, we need to work first on changing mindsets”

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Amira Mahmoud, the manager of “The Reception”, a women’s shelter in Alexandria. Photo: UN Women/Mona Soliman Amira Mahmoud is a law school graduate who works as the manager of a women’s shelter in Alexandria, Egypt. Opened in 2010 under the umbrella of the Egyptian Ministry of Social Solidarity, the shelter offers legal aid and psycho-social support and counselling to women survivors of violence in addition to facilitating access to financial assistance and... More

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